Maori Language Week, and a good moment to welcome Dr. Taku Parai from our local Iwi, Ngati Toa.
After an exchange of preliminaries between Dexter Traill and Dr. Parai in te reo Maori, Taku went on to describe his upbringing, the history of his Iwi, and what the future holds.
Taku comes from a large family centred on the Takapuwahia Marae. His father was a Maori All Black and went to great lengths to launch his sons into various trades.
Taku has had a varied career, first as an electrician and then as a historian, after enrolling at Victoria University. He was awarded a PhD in Norway, after studies involving the Sami indigenous people of Scandinavia.
Following growing unrest about Crown acquisition of Maori land, the Waitangi Tribunal was established in 1975. It was not until 2010 that Ngati Toa’s claim was settled. The settlement was seen as satisfactory by the Iwi, and it has enabled the development of a wide range of enterprises and services.
The Iwi is looking forward to major investments in housing, in collaboration with local and central government, and training and employment opportunities for young Maori.